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Do you want perfect results every time?

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“The results you get are perfect for the system you have created.”

~ Rich Litvin

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking or saying “That always happens to me”  then, according to Master Coach Rich Litvin, you may have inadvertently locked yourself inside a system that pretty much guarantees you a certain outcome, every time.

Our lives are essentially a series of interlocking systems consisting of the routines, habits, and default behaviors that we’ve unconsciously designed for ourselves. Like many features of the human brain, these systems can be a useful shortcut, allowing us to reduce the mental effort required to do repetitive and recurrent things over and over again. And that’s great…except when it isn’t.

For example, if you always… feel exhausted by the end of the day, have too much work to do, run out of money before the end of the month, end up in abusive relationships and/or get passed over for promotion (and let’s hope it’s not all of the above!) then it’s time to take a long hard look at those unconscious systems of yours, and to make them conscious for a while. It’s time to come off “autopilot.”

Let’s take a common one: ‘I always…feel exhausted by the end of the day’. Perhaps through your observations, you’ll discover that your system here doesn’t include the right nutrition or enough hydration? Maybe it doesn’t include times when you’re able to focus, step into your zone of genius and reach a state of flow? Perhaps there are no real breaks that allow time for recovery and renewal? Your system might allow your time to be constantly interrupted and redirected by the priorities of others? Or perhaps it allows for the majority of your time to be spent in activities that do not resonate with your own values or purpose, draining your batteries with drudgery?

Taking ourselves off auto-pilot and bringing our default patterns of behavior into plain sight isn’t easy, of course, and we will often have developed blind spots, self-justifications, or just plain old lies to explain away our behavior, to ourselves and others, even when it’s clear that it is self-defeating or even self-harming. But the simple act of bringing awareness to an unconscious system will, by definition, change it. Sometimes that’s enough to break the cycle.

When self-observation isn’t quite enough, however, that’s where a coach can help, by acting as a sort of magic mirror that reveals your actual reality rather than your own distorted self-view. A coach can listen to your stories, your use of language, and even observe your body language to help reveal things that might be invisible to you. Combine that with your own self-directed field experiments, and you’ve finally got a real chance of changing your systems, and more importantly your outcomes, for the better.

So, if you’re getting the perfect results – for the system, not for you – every time, then it’s definitely time to take back control.

Hat Tip to another master coach, Jon Wilson, for this.

This week’s inquiry…

Where are the results you're getting perfect for the system you have created?

Dive Deeper…

In this short talk, Samuel shares the transformational impact that disabling his autopilot had for him, and offers a simple but powerful technique to help you become present to the moment you’re in, allowing you to observe your situation with more clarity.

“Turn your autopilot off!”

Stop Living on Autopilot
Antonio Neves

Based on the last 30 days, would your company rehire you? Would your partner immediately recommit to you? Would your children want you to continue to be their parent? 

If you’ve stopped caring about much of anything, you feel out of place in your own life, or you’d rather binge-watch Netflix than think about what’s next, you’re living on autopilot. 

According to Neves, you have two choices: Experience a slow self-destruction or commit to a course correction. The good news is, it’s never too late to find your drive again.

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